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Watch out for RegTech, Chatbots and India in 2017, says PwC's FinTech and RegTech leader
As we move closer to welcome 2017, Henri Arslanian, PwC's newly appointed FinTech and RegTech Leader for China & Hong Kong, has put forward some predictions for financial technology (FinTech) in Asia.
"2016 was the year FinTech went mainstream," says Arslanian. "So what can we expect for 2017? Here are some of my predictions for FinTech in Asia".
Arslanian believes China to be a global leader in many aspects of B2C FinTech and expects its role in fintech innovation to get the global recognition and respect it deserves in 2017.
“This [FinTech] industry has grown so much in recent years that nobody can really claim to be a 'FinTech specialist'. Each of the many verticals of FinTech, from P2P and payments to roboadvisory and blockchain, have become disciplines in their own right”, he said. “This trend will continue in 2017, as the FinTech industry matures and related disciplines such as RegTech and InsurTech increase their dedicated following.”
Speaking of RegTech, Arslanian noted that many RegTech solutions are now becoming available to help banks reduce costs involved in dealing with new regulations.
“Unlike FinTech, where there is an element of competition between banks, RegTech is an area where everyone could win by cooperating. Could 2017 be the year of RegTech?” he added.
In addition, Arslanian sees huge potential in artificial intelligence (AI) and believes that it can help banks detect money laundering or employee misconduct by replacing costly manual processes. Also, he expects chatbots to become part of our everyday lives, with more of these to be piloted and rolled out in 2017.
Notably, he said that India may be leading the fintech sector globally. Arslanian said:
“One of the most ambitious FinTech projects globally is the 'India Stack', which will drastically transform the financial services industry in the country. However, as with similar innovations in China, few people in the West are aware of it. The India Stack has many impressive layers, including a universal biometric digital identity, already issued to more than 1 billion people, as well as a single interface for all of the country's bank accounts and wallets. In 2017, will other jurisdictions be inspired by what India is trying to achieve?”
However, Arslanian noted that while bankers used to be a big source of angel capital for FinTech start-ups across Asia, job losses have led bullish bankers have a more cautious approach towards start-up investments.
“This is directly affecting the fundraising landscape for early-stage FinTechs”, he added. “Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue in 2017.”